I have a confession. Several weeks ago I had a blog post ruminating around in my brain and I REALLY was going to sit down and write it. However. Prior to this bright lovely day of a new post in the works, I was contacted by a woman who publishes a local magazine here in town. She was interested in having me contribute so we made an appointment to meet---which was the same morning of The Post That Was To Be. When we met, I was concerned what she was looking for wasn't really my style so I brought up that concern. She said, "Well, then why don't you share with me what your style is." So I told her about the post that I had knocking around in my head and she said, "I love it! I want that for the next publication!" So, the good news, I got myself a writing gig, the bad news, I'm still a lousy blogger.
This morning the 6 year old reduced me to tears in a matter of seconds. Yesterday he had me laughing for a good 20 minutes after he noted that all J did at school was "watch another class all day."
J's program is telecast from Charlotte so, he was telling that truth.
This morning. Avee's friend spent the night and at the breakfast table the kids were talking about family coming to visit, where they've lived, etc. When Avee's friend explained that her great aunt was visiting, that it was an aunt, not her grandma, Danyo responded in his cherubic, matter-of-fact way, "My grandma died. She used to give me stuffed animals (this is Danyo's love language through and through). One time she gave me a fluffy, fluffy bunny. Then she died."
At first I was touched at his sweet remembrance of her. Then he mentioned the bunny and tears started falling uncontrollably. Of course he ended his commentary in the way only Danyo does. "Then she died."
My mom was on hospice and mostly bedridden but she really wanted her room decluttered as she knew people would be coming to visit her. I sat on her bedroom floor while 6 week old AJ curled up on my mom's bed, camouflaged in her pink sleepers with my Mom's pink bedding. She lived and died in pink. That was one of the many tender and thoughtful things my sister did for her that no other would have. Before my mom had even been discharged from the hospital for the last time, Sara sent me to Target to get her bright pink sheets for her hospital bed at home.
My mom had a couple of side tables against one wall of her room that she covered with tablecloths and underneath them was a treasure trove! I pulled out shoes, jewelry, scarves, stuffed animals, treasure boxes, blank cards, baked beans, vitamins, V8 cans, plastic bags, and dozens of other things. It was so very her and that one small part of her room took me all day to sift through.
At one point I pulled out a cute little floppy-eared bunny, about the size of my hand and asked her where it came from. She said, "Oh, I just get cute little things like that when I see them to give away, do you think Danyo would like that?" I told her I was sure he'd love it, but I'd like her to give it to him, because that kind of stuff matters to him.
I tossed it onto her bed where she was sitting upright and left to get Danyo. I pictured her saying something like, "I have this little bunny for you Danyo because I know how much you like stuffed animals" or some other simple and sweet statement.
When we walked back into the room, the bunny was nowhere to be seen. She just started telling Danyo a story, and as she spoke she pulled back one small piece of her blanket, and then another, and then another. She spoke in her customary serious tone but with lots of inflection. I don't even remember the words, but watched as layer after layer was lifted as she spoke. I imagine Danyo was wondering why he'd been pulled away from his cousins to hear some random story from Grandma. Finally, when she got to her punchline the bunny peeked out at Danyo, to his pure delight.
I admired so much about my mom. She had a gift like no other when it came to children. She could engage, delight, entrance, encourage, educate, and understand a child like no other. Of all the things I miss, watching her interact with my children is what I miss the most. She would be teaching Bo Shakespeare and poetry, she would be challenging Avee with spelling words and math problems and praising her ingenuity. She would be kissing Danyo nonstop and would be shameless about the trail of pink lips she'd inevitably leave. She would be laughing and delighting in AJ's self-expression and sweet hugs and exploration of new words. I like to think she is now. Some days I just wish I could see it myself.